welcome to the community of bloodsuckers
Arsenal mod should be safe. I'm not sure about silentmasqu. I have tried it with CE 1.3, and if I remember right it caused some minor problems. Or perhaps I only didn't like it. But to get rid of it if it doesn't work the way you want, you have to install everything again.
Generally for the installation you only need the basic game. The mods usually are built on one of the patches, and have all the files included.
And never use an old save file with a new patch/mod. This can (and most probably will) cause a lot of unpredictable problems, some minor, but it could crash the whole game.
It is safe to use any of the skins you can find to download for example on Planet Vampire.
Tuesday is Soylent Green day.